Nutritionists advise to include fish dishes in the menu at least 1-2 times a week, and it is advisable to choose fish with a sufficiently large percentage of fat. Together with it, valuable polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) of the Omega-3 family get into the human body, which, with adequate consumption, have a beneficial effect on its vital activity. One of the most affordable ways to enrich the diet of PUFA is regular consumption of mackerel. There are a lot of recipes for its preparation, but almost all of them involve heat treatment, in which most of the healthy fat is destroyed. But in salt mackerel it is completely preserved. How to pickle mackerel, where and how much to store and in what form to serve?
Secrets of competent preparation of mackerel for pickling
To deliciously salt mackerel, you need to buy quality frozen fish. To do this, go to a proven fish store, in which the storage of frozen products is more or less correctly organized - the temperature regime is observed, the conditions of commodity neighborhood are maintained, there are marking labels with information about the manufacturer and date of production.
If these points suit you, carefully inspect the carcass for:
- whether there are dents, icy growths, frozen parasites and damage on it;
- are there any signs that the mackerel was frozen fresh - even color of eyes and skin, fins pressed tightly to the body, pink color of gills, pleasant fish aroma;
- how long has the fish been frozen - this will directly inform the production date on the label and indirectly tell yellow spots on its surface.
Refuse the purchase if the quality of the carcasses does not match at least one of these points. You should also not purchase fresh salted mackerel for salting, with too thick a layer of ice (more than 5 mm), previously defrosted and cleaned of the head and viscera. All these precautions are important to observe, as the fish will not be thermally processed, and your health directly depends on its quality.
It is equally important to defrost mackerel correctly. To do this, you can use the following methods:
- natural thawing in a closed vessel on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator - the fish thaws completely after 5-6 hours, so do not keep it longer than this time;
- keeping in a cool water-salt solution prepared at the rate of 2 l of cold boiled water and 2 tbsp. l salt per 1 kg of fish (salt is needed so that the product does not lose minerals);
- heating in the microwave in the appropriate mode (this method is recommended only in exceptional cases, since the taste of the fish deteriorates somewhat).
In no way should you defrost in warm and hot water, or at room temperature, especially in the hot season. And, of course, you can’t freeze the mackerel again.
For salting, it is better to use coarse salt - rock, sea or iodized. It slowly dissolves at low temperature and gradually takes moisture out of the carcass. If you use finely ground salt, mackerel can be dry and tasteless.
Delicious mackerel at home - a step by step recipe with photos
The method of salting mackerel proposed by this recipe is called dry, since it does not require preparing a marinade. To prepare salted mackerel at home, you will need:
- 2 large thawed fish;
- 3 tbsp. l salts;
- 1 tbsp. l Sahara.
Optionally, you can add your favorite spices - bay leaves, peas of allspice, coriander, cloves, fresh dill. Before salting the mackerel, you will need to grind the dry spices in a mortar to add the resulting powder to sugar and salt. In this case, you get a mackerel of spicy salting. If you value salted mackerel for its clean taste, any additional seasonings should be ruled out.
Pour the right amount of salt and sugar into a container of a suitable size (possibly a regular soup bowl).
Cut the fish: cut off the fins and the tip of the tail with kitchen scissors, and cut the head with a knife, then spread the belly and stretch all the insides. Remove the black film from the inside and rinse the carcass under running water.
Put the fish on a clean chopping board. Pour a layer of a mixture of salt with sugar on them and rub it thoroughly with the abdominal cavity and all external surfaces.
Place each carcass in a separate plastic bag. Sprinkle them with the rest of the mixture.
Put the mackerel in a bowl.
Close the container and refrigerate the fish. After 48 hours, it will be ready for use. To understand that the mackerel is ripe, you can change the color of meat, its hardness and elasticity.
Salted mackerel should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature not exceeding 5 ° C and not longer than 3 days. To extend the shelf life to 1 week, it can be marinated additionally in vinegar and vegetable oil, however, marinating already spoiled fish is strictly prohibited.
Mackerel prepared according to this recipe is delicious served in the form of sandwiches from rye bread with a variety of fillings. Thin slices of sweet and sour green apple, radish, onion, fresh cucumber, Adyghe cheese are perfectly combined with mackerel. Try it - this is a very tasty snack!